Virtual Meetings

Template Protocol to add to Standing Orders


  1. To attend any virtual, electronic or digital meeting, a Member must be able at that time:

    1. to hear, and where practicable see, and be so heard and, where practicable, be seen by, the other members in attendance,

    1. to hear, and where practicable see, and be so heard and, where practicable, be seen by, any members of the public entitled to attend the meeting in order to exercise a right to speak at the meeting, and

    1. to be so heard and, where practicable, be seen by any other members of the public attending the meeting

Protocol for the Meeting

  1. Members should connect to the Meeting shortly before the allotted commencement time and check that their connection is operational.

  1. Members should ensure that their microphone is muted other than when they are entitled to speak.

  1. The Council’s Standing Orders will apply as subject to the following amendments:

  1. Members are only entitled to speak at the invitation of the Chair, other than to:

    1. move a Motion or Amendment without Notice

    2. second a Motion

    3. move a Motion which may be moved during a debate

    4. move a closure Motion

    5. point of order

    6. personal explanation

  1. In any debate, the Chair of the Meeting will ask each Member in attendance, in turn, whether they wish to say anything as part of the debate. If a Member wishes to speak then this is the point at which they will so speak.

  1. Once each Member has either spoken or indicated that they do not wish to speak then the relevant matter will be put to the vote.

  1. Each vote will be a roll call vote or by a show of hands, while the minutes will record the decision of the meeting.

Members with a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in a Matter

  1. Any Member with a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in any particular matter must disconnect from the Meeting for that particular item. The Meeting will pause for up to ten minutes for the said Member to reconnect once the matter has been dealt with.

Confidential or Exempt Items or Issues

  1. When confidential, or “exempt” issues are under consideration. The Chair and Members should ensure that there are no members of the public at remote locations able to hear or see the proceedings during such meetings. Any Remote Member should confirm, prior to participating in any confidential and/or exempt item of business, that they are in a secure private location and that no one else is able to hear the proceedings from the device being used by that Remote Member and that no recording is being made. Any member in remote attendance who failed to disclose that there were in fact persons present who were not so entitled will be in breach of their Code of Conduct responsibilities.

Connection Problems

  1. If, during the course of a Meeting, it becomes apparent that a Member is no longer in attendance, the Meeting will be paused for a period of up to ten minutes to re-establish their attendance.

  1. After the ten minute period, if it has not been possible to re-establish the attendance of the particular Member:

    1. If the Meeting remains quorate, the Meeting continues.

    2. If the Meeting is inquorate, it will be adjourned until a suitable alternative time.

  1. In circumstances when a Member rejoins part way through a re-commenced matter in a quorate Meeting and have missed part of the debate: councillors must take a view as to whether they are sufficiently informed to properly cast their vote.

Public/Other Participants

  1. For those meeting which require some public or other participation, at the relevant item, the Meeting will be paused until such time as those other involved persons are able to so participate.

  1. If a technical matter prevents the relevant participant from attending then the Chair will make a decision as to whether they are able to put forward the person’s contribution (e.g. a question). end